In most cases, when faced with hemorrhoids, people naturally reach for OTC medication. Also known as piles, hemorrhoids are actually swollen veins that appear around the anal opening or the anal canal. The symptoms include itching and bleeding during bowel movement. The problem with OTC medication is that usually they carry benefits, but also risks for side effects. The good news is that there are number of home remedies for hemorrhoids that are safe for usage.
Causes for Hemorrhoids
Prolonged sitting, constipation, irritants in the diet, and straining at stool are the most common causes for hemorrhoids. Irritants in the diet, especially spices like mustard and red pepper and drinks like coffee have long been considered some of the most common causes that can be prevented. Stress can also cause hemorrhoids, but it happens in rare cases.
The presence of blood is common symptom of hemorrhoids. There are internal and external hemorrhoids. In internal hemorrhoids, the bleeding is bright red and you can notice it on toilet paper. For external hemorrhoids, the bleeding happens around the anal opening and canal and causes swelling. Other common symptoms include:
- Blood clots
- Anal pain
With that being said, there are home remedies for hemorrhoids that can be easily prepared at the convenience of your home.
1. Cold Compress
One of the most common home remedies for hemorrhoids is cold compress. The remedy is effective in number of ways, but mostly, because it reduces the pain, provides instant relief from itching and shrinks the hemorrhoids in size. Once you reduce swelling, it is easier to treat hemorrhoids.
Simple wrap ice in clean cloth, and then apply it over the affected area. Repeat the treatment few times per day, and after a day or two, you will be able to reduce the size and symptoms of the hemorrhoids.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Using apple cider vinegar on your hemorrhoids will cause a burning sensation for few moments, but it is one of the most effective and popular treatments for long-term health. The treatment is as easy as they come. All you need is a cotton ball or some toilet paper. Soak the ball or paper in ACV and then apply it directly on the affected area for instant relief. Repeat several times per day and until the inflammation disappears.
For internal hemorrhoids you can drink a teaspoon of vinegar diluted in water.
3. Psyllium Husk
Available in the form of powder, psyllium husk is actually high fiber made from the Plantago ovata plant. Consume it regularly, follow the instructions on the package, and you can soften your stools and ease up bowel movements.
Psyllium husk also helps in reducing stress in swollen veins and allows them to heal faster.
4. Warm Bath
Soaking is a home remedy for instant relief from hemorrhoids. Soaking in warm tub or warm bath will reduce itching, irritation and allow your blood vessels to relax. Just make sure that the water is warm or lukewarm, not hot. After soaking your anal area for 15 minutes, use a wet towel to gently wipe the area. Repeat the treatment two or three times per day.
Dryness of your body causes the hemorrhoid situation to worsen and can cause excessive bleeding. Therefore, make sure to keep yourself hydrated, and use moist tissues to wipe the anal area.
6. Aloe Vera
An effective natural ingredient that helps with almost every skin condition, aloe vera can be applied directly to the hemorrhoid area for symptoms reduction and relieving. Aloe vera can also be used for internal hemorrhoids. All you need is a cold compress.
Start by cutting the stripes of the leaves, then discard the thorns, and freeze the leaves. Put the leaves in cloth to make a cold compress, and then apply on the affected inflamed area.
7. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel might sound like something few people have in their home, but it is actually a common ingredient in the household.
Witch hazel can be used for hemorrhoids topically to reduce pain, bleeding and itching. Nowadays, there are even wipes made out of witch hazel that make matters easier.
8. Almond Oil
Almond oil is one of the best tissue absorption assets. When it comes to hemorrhoids, people use it for external treatment.
Simply dip a cotton ball in the oil and then apply to the hemorrhoid area. Almond oil reduces inflammation and moisturizes the affected area. You can repeat the treatment several times per day.
9. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another ingredient that carries anti-inflammation properties which makes it a great home remedy for hemorrhoids. The downside is that tea tree oil is strong, so you need to dilute the oil with carrier oil. One or two drops of tea tree oil is more than enough.
Dip a cotton swap in the solution, and then apply it to the affected area. After few treatments, you’ll notice your hemorrhoids shrinking in size and the itching is gone.
10. Black Tea Bags
Black tea contains tannic acid, one of the best natural ingredients that reduces swelling. Boil some water, and then wet a bag in the hot water.
Let it stay there for 1 minute, and then remove it from water and let the bag cool down a little. Apply the tea bag to the affected area and let it stay for 10 minutes.
11. Lemon Juice
Lemons, and lemon juice for that matter is rich with antioxidants. You can apply lemon juice directly on the affected area.
Alternatively, you can gently rub lemon slices, or consume lemon juice mixed with honey and ginger for reducing pain and symptoms for internal hemorrhoids.
12. Olive Oil
Olive oil helps by soothing the affected area, reducing discomfort and symptoms. The anti-inflammatory properties of olive oil help to increase the elasticity of the blood vessels.
Consume a teaspoon of olive oil per day to improve the bowel movement and soften stools.
As with every condition, it is always better to prevent hemorrhoids than treat them when they appear. Because of that, prevention is one of the best home remedies for hemorrhoids. Here is what you can do to prevent hemorrhoids from appearing all together.
- Exercise and lose weight if you are overweight. Obesity and inactive lifestyle, especially for those sitting in front a computer for most of their working day is the road to hemorrhoids. Your organs will start working at lower levels, and your overall health declines, creating a breeding ground for hemorrhoids
- Increase your fiber intake by consuming more fruits and vegetables. Fiber is essential for better bowel movement, and fruits and veggies are your best source of fiber. Preventing constipation, fiber also improves the work of your colon, all of which prevents from hemorrhoids. Aside from fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, beans are also great sources of fiber
- Don’t forget about probiotics. You need good bacteria to balance your gut, prevent constipation and promote better health. Cheese, yogurt, fermented drinks like kombucha, all of these are great sources of probiotics.
- Make sure to keep your anal area clean by taking daily baths or showers and cleansing the skin around your anus. Use warm water to clean the anal area. You do not need to use soap, as soaps might aggravate the problem
- Do not use alcohol or perfumed based wipes as they worsen the condition
- Don’t use dry toilet paper. Moisture is important, so you can opt for wet toilet paper without perfume or alcohol or moist towelettes
- Laxatives and stool softeners can help if you are having problems going to the bathroom. Talk to your physician for recommendation of some laxatives, or you can opt for natural laxatives such as leafy greens, chia seeds, flaxseeds, coconut water and high fiber fruits
- Following good bathroom habits is also important. Do not force something to happen. If you cannot go, wait and go later. Do not spend more than two minutes on the throne. Practicing a routine of going to the bathroom every day at the same time helps
- When it comes to underwear, wear loose cotton underwear that help the area aired and doesn’t allow moisture buildup.